by Kathleen Shearer, CARL
Published in SPARC enews, August-September 2006
In February 2006, CIHR initiated a project (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/30818.html) to develop and implement a CIHR policy on access to research outputs. This is guided by an advisory committee whose members represent Canadian researchers across CIHR's four research theme areas--biomedical, clinical, health services, and population health. The Chair of the committee is the noted open access advocate Dr. Jim Till, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto (http://main.library.utoronto.ca/utlnews/spring2006.pdf).
Of the 41 survey responses received, approximately half were from researchers with the remaining replies coming from library affiliates, journals, research administrators, policymakers, health charities and others.
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) made a submission to CIHR's publication policy consultation. The brief is available on the CARL Web site (http://www.carl-abrc.ca/projects/open_access/CIHR_OA-consultn_brief.pdf). Acting in concert with CARL, SPARC also submitted a brief (http://www.arl.org/sparc/advocacy/canada/cihrpolicy_sparccomments_06may.pdf).
CARL representatives Gwen Ebbett (University Librarian, University of Windsor), Carolynne Presser (Director of Libraries, University of Manitoba) and Kathleen Shearer (Research Associate, CARL), together with Heather Joseph (Executive Director, SPARC) met CIHR officials on May 16 to make suggestions for the CIHR draft access policy. The survey results (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/31935.html) supported the idea of CIHR establishing an access policy, and, in particular, a policy that would be broad and place minimal restrictions on access. Some of the key themes that emerged were: